Philadelphia

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My latest business trip brought me to Philadelphia, a city with plenty of history and culture. Unfortunately as my days were long and busy I didn’t get to do any sightseeing during my stay. I was although able enjoy some of good food around town here’s a few spots I would recommend if you visit Philadelphia.

Little Nonna

I’m a huge fan of Italian food and I was charm by the look and ambiance of this restaurant. I took a seat at the kitchen bar where I was able to have a look at the food been made. Looking at the menu it was pretty hard to make a decision but I picked what looked good to me and confirmed my choices with my waiter. I apparently had made some good decisions with the wild oyster mushroom Arrancini and the pan seared Gnocci. The waiter did recommend the grilled broccoli salad so I decided to have it as well. As I was finished with my meal I spotted one of the cooks filling a Cannoli. After inquiring and finding out they made them in house I let the temptation give in and had one of their hazelnut Cannoli. Not that I regret it, but when it comes to Cannoli i’m more of a purist and prefer the traditional to the flavored ones. On my next visit I will make sure to visit them again.

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Smoking Betty’s

Since it’s Sunday I’m lucky enough to start a little later which gave me time to have a sit down breakfast. I found Smoking Betty’s as I was walking towards my destination and it looked like the perfect place a relax breakfast. Menu looked good but when my waiter explained the specials I knew my choice was made. The Crab Cake Bennies, a twist on the egg Benedict, which consisted of homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with a crab cake with a poached egg and hollandaise sauce. This was really good but since there was 2 in the plate I only had the crab cake and egg on the second one as the biscuits are pretty filling. Overall a great discovery and I was very happy to discover this new taste.

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BurgerFi

I didn’t have much time for lunch and been at the Convention Center I was looking for something close by. As I walked out I spotted BurgerFi right across the street and thought a plain old burger would do the job. Decor was pretty cool when I walked in with their ” Big Fan” on the ceiling and the place been decorated mostly in wood with metal accent.  I placed in my order and as we all know without discriminating unfortunately not all burgers are created equal. I was lucky that this place was on the good side of the spectrum and the burger was pretty tasty. One fun fact about the burgers is that they brand the bun with their logo which I thought was a cool marketing touch. I also, been Canadian, got to experiment for the first time with the Pininfarina coke machine that lets you choose a kind of soft drink and then give it a twist with different types of flavors.

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Lolita

I found this nice Mexican place and was attracted by their menu that was far from the regular items you usually see on the menu. Ambiance is cozy with lots of tables and a long bar where you can eat at as well. I ordered the seared tuna tacos for appetizer and the duck tamales for main meal. The tamales was excellent with the masa mixed with duck fat and duck. I was pretty impressed by the quality and taste of the food as i’m often disapointed by the lack of inguniity of lots of Mexican restaurants.

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Photo Credit : Lolita website
Photo Credit : Lolita website

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Carmen’s Famous

Who can come to Phily without having one of their world known Cheesesteak? I was in Reading Terminal Market looking for what looked like the best choice for Cheesesteak when I spotted this place. As I did the line up to get to the cash to order my sandwich I suspected I made the right choice when I saw next to the cashier a picture of President Obama ordering a cheesesteak. When you think of it, I doubt his publicist would have made the mistake to take him to the worst place in town. As I got my order, a classic Cheesesteak with one of Carmen’s Famous original root beer I got confirmation I had picked the right place. The food was simply excellent and after I was done all the staff, even the cook asked me if it was to my liking.  For me this is always something I appreciate when I see the staff caring and proud of their work… hats off to this fine establishment.

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Bru Craft and Wurst

This is a German restaurant and the menu reflected traditional German cuisine. I had the Ruben Fritters for appetizers and ordered the Wiener Schnitzel for my main course. The Wiener Schnitzel was a generous portion and was served with German style potatoes salad which after confirming with a European friend was the real deal. I guess the best way to describe it is pickled sliced potatoes, it doesn’t have any mayo or sauce. Asides from the typical cuisine of the establishment the place is nice with a nice bar and also boast a good variety of import and local craft beers.

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Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge

I went there for lunch just before heading to the airport. At first it was not really busy but it did get packed pretty fast. I ordered one of the lunch specials the Sashimi platter that came with miso soup and the house salad. The presentation on the plate was very nice something you don’t always expect from a lunch special. But my biggest surprised is when I tasted the sashimi, I had sushi in lots of places but I can’t remember the last time sashimi melted in my mouth like this one. Both the Tuna and Salmon were delicious and I also really enjoyed the Maki that were perfect bite size and not the oversize rolls a lot of places keep on making that prevent you from looking decent while having sushi.

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During my time in Philadelphia I stayed at the Holiday Inn Express Midtown that was very well located. It’s got a pool and they also have a deal with a gym close by if you want to work out. I took a few cabs when it rain but if you enjoy walking you are pretty close to a lot of things. Rooms are pretty nice and spacious and have a good working area.

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Holiday Inn Express   Intercontinental Hotel Group
1305 Walnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, United States

As you can see I’ve had a lot of different culinary experiences while in Philadelphia and this is one of the benefits of the larger older cities that represent a multicultural diversity. It’s always great to be able to discover new spots and new tastes while on a trip and I will keep good memories of this one. Hopefully next time I will have more time to visit this beautiful city and burn the numerous calories i’ve gain.

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